Polar bear killer hailed as a hero
Saturday 06 August 2011
The man who shot the polar bear that killed a schoolboy and savaged four others in Norway has been hailed as a hero.
Adventurer Michael 'Spike' Reid, 29, was one of two leaders of the expedition which came under attack.
Horatio Chapple, 17, an aspiring medical student, was killed and four others were injured by the bear yesterday morning.
The group was on a British Schools Exploring Society (BSES) expedition to the Arctic.
Mr Reid, from Plymouth in Devon, suffered serious head and neck injuries when he was mauled by the animal.
He is reported to be in a serious, but stable, condition after being airlifted to a hospital in the Norwegian town of Tromso.
His family said they were told by British Embassy officials that it is believed he shot the animal.
Peter Reid, Michael's father, said: "We got a phone call from the BSES in the morning. We were devastated and very worried.
"We have been told everyone was saying it was Michael who shot the bear and he was a hero. It was very moving.
"A lot of the day, we've been thinking about the family of the boy who died."
The attack on the campsite, near the Von Post glacier, about 25 miles (40km) from Longyearbyen, took place early yesterday.
Mr Reid said the incident had come as a complete shock.
He said: "In all honesty, we were more worried last year when Michael went to Afghanistan to climb.
"This was such a rare and unlikely event, it was inconceivable."
Mr Reid added his son was one of the team leaders responsible for science experiments and had also been involved in training.
He said: "It's what he loves to do. He was so excited to be going when we spoke to him four days ago.
"He was having a terrific time and was really in his element.
"We were shaken by the news, but we have a son alive and under very good medical care in Norway.
"There's a family in Wiltshire who have lost their son. For us, their grief must be unimaginable."
BSES Expeditions said the others injured were fellow team leader Andrew Ruck, 27, believed to be from Aberdeen, and youngsters Patrick Flinders, 16, from Jersey, and Scott Smith, 17, of Cornwall.
The British Embassy in Norway said its priority was to reunite the patients with their families in a hospital in Britain.
- 1 PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
- 2 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 4 Vagina canoe artist defends herself over ‘obscenity’ charges
- 5 The Queen’s speech 2014: Recap and Twitter reaction to Game of Thrones reference
PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
Antonio Martin shooting: Black teenager may have tried to ambush patrolman, says police officer's lawyer
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
Boxing Day snowfall set to push even more bargain-hunters online for sales
The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...
£70000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketi...